Few technologies have generated as much interest in recent years as Big Data solutions. A wide range of technologies in the Big Data field has been applied to business-to-consumer sales, where many advanced platforms have been developed. However, business-to-business salespeople can also greatly benefit from the potential of big data in their organisations.
A report by consultancy McKinsey found that, among the companies who have used big data analytics, the “speed of the initiation of first sales increased by 50 per cent, churn reduced by 25 per cent, sales from new accounts rose 10 per cent, and a 2 to 5 per cent return on sales through pricing” was achieved.
One of the end goals of creating an effective big data B2B sales ecosystem is to unlock opportunities to cross-sell clients. Knowledge is power when it comes to sales and the more salespeople know about customers and potential clients, the greater their ability to offer products and services that meet their needs. It would take far too long for salespeople to manually search through past customer information to find connections. But with big data tools, this massive amount of data can be quickly processed and vital information can be extracted easily.
Personal relationships remain an essential element of B2B sales, with big data being able to support this process and strengthen these connections. By utilising big data tools to quickly analyse large amounts of prospective client data, any changes to their behaviour can be immediately recognised and sales and marketing strategies can be reworked, if needed.
In practice, big data tools can break down successful sales attempts on a granular level to uncover which advertisements, landing pages or channels work best. The most advance AI tools can interrogate data to uncover valuable insights into leads. Rather than have salespeople trawl through websites like LinkedIn to manually find leads, which can be an extremely time-consuming and inefficient process, big data analytics are able to automatically collect relevant prospect data.
Providing information to salespeople that enables them to focus on the strongest leads helps support the entire sales funnel to prioritise the leads with the highest potential.
Applying big data tools to a sales organisation is only one part of the puzzle, with an intuitive and easy to use interface or platform being a vital element of a successful big data project. If insights are hard to understand or too complex, some salespeople may not engage and the impact of big data technologies will be limited. This can be especially true when sales, marketing and product teams operate in data silos, making connections between these data gaps difficult.
By starting with easy to access data that is regularly used by sales teams allows big data projects to quickly prove their value. The power of automation is clear for these early projects, as reducing manual work from sales systems is a simple metric to measure. With sales teams driving to become as effective as possible in their search for new sales when used correctly, big data tools can predict which leads are most likely to convert and provide the best return on investment.
While the concept of big data analytics is relatively immature in the B2B space, in part due to concerns around the difficulty of implementing a big data project, as this technology becomes more mainstream, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. Forward-thinking competitors will empower their sales teams through the benefits of big data, leaving behind slow-moving companies that don’t invest in cutting edge technologies.